Sunday, November 18, 2012

Country Christmas


I had such a great time Friday night in the 2012 Holiday home tour! It was so much fun meeting people and such a great feeling of being able to help out the two ladies to whom the tour benefitted. I have been busy the last couple of months but I was in my glory working on getting this place ready. I will share pictures and tips of some of my Christmas decorations and maybe inspire you to bring Christmas cheer into your home and not spend a lot in the process.


I had a lot of fun decorating the mantle since I’ve always dreamed of having one to fix up. A few weeks ago I made this mantle using old wood that came from John’s home farm. The thick slab that is the shelf part comes from my great grandparents house. So all we need now is the actual fireplace! I have a tutorial on how I did this here: Fake Fireplace Mantle

I made the stockings out of sweaters I got for a few dollars at thrift stores. I glued the boys’ initials on them using my trusty glue gun. The letters are scrapbooking punch outs…



For the mantle, I wired pinecones together and hung across the length of the mantle. I bought glass vases at Pat Catans for a good price and wrapped them with musical notes paper that I printed out and tied them with raffia. ( also from Pat Catans) I stuck candles into the vases and they glow nicely with the paper around them.


I also replaced the white matting around the pictures with red poster board. ( also from P.C.) When I say “matting”, I mean any regular paper placed behind a picture. I usually don’t invest in real matting, which is kinda costly.


Note the crock that made a nice holder for the skinny tree. I placed spanish moss around the base.


The twigs in the chamber pot are from the woods and I sprayed some fake snow onto them. The berry sprigs come from…yep, you guessed it..P. C. You can’t tell too well in the picture but the coffee table I made using an old window and for a tutorial on that you can go to:Old Window Coffee Table


Now you all can see that I didn’t paint the top of the entertainment center… I saw a wooden sled filled with gifts on Pottery Barns’ Christmas pictures and ended up making one. It’s not quite the same as theirs but it will do..



I made the sweater pillow covers also from sweaters that I got at thrift stores for cheap. The long pillow cover is made from fabric that I got at a local outlet store for a few dollars.


Some day I’ll have a tutorial on how I make all my cushion covers. It’s so simple it takes less than five minutes to make one! ( I did time myself )Smile



What it’s ALL about…



I love this little tree on the kitchen countertop. Following are some up close pictures of the cutest little ornaments!…








On Friday afternoon, the day of the tour, I was thinking what I could put on the island in the kitchen. I wanted something Christmasy. Usually we have this bowl sitting there as a catch all for books, cds,pens,etc. I spotted a carton full of ornaments from last year that I didn’t have a place for and thought I’d give them a shot for a spot in the bowl. I was impressed with how they looked with granite and some string lights wound through them. I filled the bottom of the bowl with plastic bags because there weren’t enough ornaments to fill the bowl.

I did fix up the table for the night of the tour…


I think this was one of my favorite things to arrange. The little trees I made using a florists wet foam. I cut little sprigs of boxwood shrubbery and stuck them into the foam. I started from the bottom up and then glued little red bows here and there. The burlap I got at Zincks, a local fabric outlet store for $1.58 a yard. I also made the napkins with burlap and tied little berries and bells around them with raffia.


The dishes are one of my very lucky bargains that I found on one of my shopping trips. Just when I was ready to give up and just use my old black dishes that aren’t very Christmasy I found these at a Dollar Tree!! Yep, I gave a dollar a piece for them! I still get wired thinking about it because it was exactly what I was looking for-if not better.



This arrangement is one of my favorites mostly because it was so simple to fix. I just wet the inside of the jars with water and shook out the excess and sprinkled with salt, shook them a little and the jars were frosty! I used salt petre because I was low on regular salt but I think any salt would do. I then placed votive cups that I got at Walmart in the opening. They are big enough that they don’t fall through and still sit nicely in the jar. With candles burning in them, they have a nice glow to them. The stars were very simple too. I just used my musical paper that I had printed out and cut out stars using stencils I made. ( I printed some using office word’s shapes) I then made folds from all angles and shaped it to a 3D. Very simple!


I had a homemade “tree” in the bedroom that I made by gathering twigs and spraying with fake snow. I stuck them into an old barrel and used newspaper to stabilize them. I covered the newspaper with sea shells. I thought that would fit since I have a big beach picture hanging on the wall.



This is one of the DIY wall arts I did. I used wood to glue this poster onto and wrapped the edges with the poster. It’s supposed to be a canvas look alike but it didn’t go too well. I’m still thinking of redoing some day.



I borrowed this cute snowman from mom. He overlooked the cookies on the night of the tour. Don’t you just have to smile to look at him? Smile


The mudroom shelf in the basement.

I took pickle jars and put fake snow (from Pat Catans) in them and a candle. Ten of these jars lit the way for the guests Friday night. My niece helped me fix them. She tied the fabric, which we tore into strips around the neck of the jar and added the tin stars. (P.C.)




Some of my shrubs died this summer because of the drought and so I used them as a little tree on the porch.


I hope you enjoyed the tour! Sorry it got a little long…

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Old Window Coffee Table


There’s so many different things you can do with an old window…Here is a step by step guide to making a coffee table using an old window for the top…

The window I wanted to use wasn’t the right size so I had to cut a portion off and reattach the frame to make it look the same all around…



Next, I cut four legs…


Using wood glue, I glued the ends of the posts and fastened onto the window with screws…





I left a little overhang on all the posts.


Now, for the skirting…


I cut the boards to fit in exactly and used a nail gun to fasten, also gluing the edges.


I cut out eight little wedges, two per post…


The wedges gave the posts and skirting reinforcement it needed.


again, I used the air nailer to fasten.


After a coat of paint and some distressing…


I realize I don’t have very good step by step instructions on making some of my things but it’s the best I can do since I never really have a plan. I’m far from a perfectionist since I follow hardly any rules and just feel my way through on most of my DIYers. I encourage you to do the same. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it’s much more fun to do these things if you don’t have all these “corners need to match” rules. It’s the end result, after all, that counts.